Have you ever had a friend or relative who constantly has car trouble? At some point, the vintage mustang is not worth the trouble, no matter how “super-charged” the engine is. We make fun, but it can be a tough decision. The same issue comes up with our HVAC units. It’s hard to decide when it’s smarter to get it replaced. Luckily, you probably aren’t that attached to your AC, so you can be more objective about it. Still, when is it smart to get the system replaced?
Air conditioning has advanced leaps and bounds over the past decades. However, units aren’t invincible. Wear and tear adds up over time, and your system will fall into disrepair eventually. This typically happens when your AC is between 10 and 15 years old. When your unit gets around this age, it will likely need service year after year.
It’s not always the case, but if you have a unit that’s around fifteen years old and it needs repairs, it’s probably more economical to get a brand-new unit. When you consider the added efficiency of new units, it makes perfect sense to replace them.
AC repairs typically cost a few hundred dollars. However, if you have significant problems, the cost could outweigh what it would cost to replace. Usually, this would be a few thousand dollars in total expenses for a central AC unit, so keep this in mind if the repairs have a high cost.
These are the two main factors when deciding between repairs and replacements. One rule of thumb we recommend you use is to multiply the cost of repair by the age of the system. A more costly repair for a very new system is probably worth it. The same repair on a 10-year-old unit is not going to have the same value for you.
If you multiply the repair cost by the unit’s age in years and it’s less than the price of a new system than it’s probably smart to go ahead with the fix. If you’re not sure what the cost of a replacement is in your area, just assume a number of around $5,000.
Sometimes the question of “repair or replace?” isn’t a question of cost, but of comfort. A loss in efficiency is normal over time for any HVAC unit. However, if your system just isn’t cooling your home, you may want to replace it. This could happen for a multitude of reasons, but one is that the unit was not sized correctly in the first place.
If you have added onto your home, your air conditioning may not be able to cope with the added demand. In these cases, it’s best to replace your unit with one that is correctly sized for your home.
Due to the phasing out of R-22 freon, costs have risen for replacement refrigerant. You should consider this for your future costs. A new AC unit will have cheaper refrigerant just because the new R-410a refrigerant is now the industry standard, which makes replacement slightly more economical for the future.
These are just guidelines, of course. Your situation is going to be specific to you. We can advise you, but it’s ultimately up to you to decide what is the best option. Repair and replacement can both be good choices, and in many cases, it can go either way.
Choice Air Care has you covered for any air conditioning repair or replacement services. We are taking every precaution to ensure the health and safety of our customers at this time. If you need AC help, contact Choice Air Care online or call us at (972) 332-3927.